500 a Day and Kicking My Own Ass

Goals word on note pad stick on blank colorful paper notebook at workspace, year resolution concepts

With my writing goals I have to drag them back to basics.

No longer am I going to aim for the 2k words a day that I was because in reality the 2k a day was more 0 to 10 words a day word count. Re-reading Stephen Kings ‘On Writing’ I’ve taken away from it a sense of enthusiasm that I lost with writing. The ridiculous thing is my one and only book couldn’t be performing any better. It still maintains a decent Amazon ranking, reviews have been mainly positive and the money I’m earning from it is something I truly appreciate. This should be motivation enough… Anyway, before I go on and on, I’ll get down to business and it goes like this.

1. I’ll aim for 500 words written and 500 words edited a day.
2. This blog and something tangible to chart my progress on tools I will use to document my daily count as a form of accountability. (unfortunately I need this (o; )
3. A second book published by March 2016 and a novelette by April. (I’ll announce what I’m working on soon.)
4. Third book by July/August and fourth by November/December.

Four goals, although the third and fourth are kind of double goals but either way they will be 2016’s goals. I know this is kind of New Years resolution type stuff but I thought I’d do it a little early this year. I’ll let it settle into my mushy brain for a bit before I dive into New Years resolution mode.

So feel free to share your writing goals below or anything else you’d like to discuss. It’s an open book here.




  1. David, your blogs areencouraging to me. I was writing throughout the summer and fall using the “fast first draft” method I had read about in a few books and blogs. I was getting a good daily word count; upwards to 4000 words with some days hitting 5000 words. Only problem was that there was so much editing needed to the daily sessions that I was spending 45 minutes or so simply correcting spelling errors from typing so fast! And while the speed was there, the quality was too discouraging to me during edits. I was very down on myself and my writing, and fell into a string of time where I was unable to sit down to write thinking I was only going to produce more crap. I realize that writing something was better than nothing, but after going through sections of what I’d written I felt that maybe I shouldn’t be writing after all.
    I slowed myself down and was able to get a more comfortable pace going, with less errors and better text to work with while editing. I was still doubting myself over my writing ability, but I have been preparing to get back to work starting in the new year. Your articles are encouraging to me, and I am awaiting more work coming from you in 2016. I too have set my goals to get one or two books published online along with some novella length stories following a series storyline. Hopeful that perhaps we can compare notes next year. Keep up the good work, David!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely Dean. Let me know whenever you have something for me to look at. It’s easy to fall off the wagon but getting back on feels pretty good again. I’ve already hit my word count for the past few days and plan to keep hitting it. Hopefully you hit yours too but don’t be too disheartened because everybody who writes, whether it be fiction, non-fiction or academic etc. all feel the same way at times. It’s the long goal that keeps you moving I suppose, like writing full time or having so many books published or even a financial goal. Keep on going and let me know how it all goes. Cheers, David.


  3. How long did it take for your book to get to this state? I’ve just published my first less than two months ago, and it is SLOW.

    I have just started back into Book 2 – which I have a very rough draft of (ditto Book 3 of the trilogy), knowing the story isn’t finished, and you have to have the next book (‘they’ say), but I’m curious about other ‘only’ books out there.

    My writing process doesn’t include words per day – it includes hours in the chair per day, and dealing with a crooked brain – but I loved On Writing, too.

    As you said above, “It’s the long goal that keeps you moving,” and that’s exactly right.

    I look every day for some tiny little signal that all is right. Yesterday, it was that someone in KU had read 121 pages. The day before, someone left a review. Before that, someone bought the print edition. I’m hoping some day these things turn into torrents.

    Meanwhile, MY job is to write.

    Good luck with your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry I’m only getting back to you now. It took my book about 4 months before I started making sales in the double figures daily. I didn’t spend too much advertising it but did a free run on Amazon which gained about 5000 downloads. This got me much needed reviews. I’d recommend looking at Nick Stephenson’s advice on Amazons categories because this has been key to my books semi kind of success. It stays within the top 20-30 kidnapping thrillers and the top 50 murder thrillers. This gives it fantastic exposure. So reviews and categories are the two things I’d recommend above all else. Hope this helps.


  4. Thanks!

    Given the season, I didn’t expect a quick answer, but it sounds as if you’ve done just about everything right: you picked a popular category, thrillers, and subcategory, kidnapping thrillers. You got reviews – with free downloads.

    I’ve published – the reviews are starting, but it’s been slow. I have written a ‘mainstream contemporary love story,’ add ‘epic’ in there, and include the fact that the main character is disabled. It is more Jane Eyre than Romance, of ‘literary quality’ in the prose, but not Literary. I don’t know of anything else like it in the marketplace. And I won’t get to the Happily Ever After until all three books are finished (at about the length of Gone With the Wind, only she gets the guy at the end).

    I think it has huge potential – and that it’s going to be one of the hardest possible marketing jobs to get it to the people who will like it. People who read it are all over the demographic map – and I get the nicest emails. Men AND women, young and old.

    So, as I’ve been doing for the past four years, I read everything everyone writes about their success, their first book, etc. – and try to figure out what will work for ME.

    I hope all I need is patience – and to continue what I’m doing, and to write/revise/polish Book 2 in the trilogy, and then Book 3. But it took fifteen years to get Book 1 finished, and though I’m sure it will be faster now that I’ve learned to write and have a system in place, I can’t do what you’ve done. And are planning to do. Darn.

    So thanks for listening – and if there are any ideas you’ve considered and discarded because they won’t work for you, but MIGHT work for me, send them along.

    Much success with your next book, and your goals for 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

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